Promotional effect of CeO2 modified support on V2O5Б€“WO3/TiO2

Fuel 153 (2015) 361–369
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
journal homepage:
Promotional effect of CeO2 modified support on V2O5–WO3/TiO2 catalyst
for elemental mercury oxidation in simulated coal-fired flue gas
Lingkui Zhao, Caiting Li ⇑, Jie Zhang, Xunan Zhang, Fuman Zhan, Jinfeng Ma, Yin’e Xie, Guangming Zeng
College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, PR China
Key Laboratory of Environmental Biology and Pollution Control (Hunan University), Ministry of Education, Changsha 410082, PR China
h i g h l i g h t s
g r a p h i c a l a b s t r a c t
Nano-sized TiO2–CeO2 mixed oxides
Mechanism of CeO2 modified V2O5–WO3/TiO2 catalysts for elemental mercury oxidation.
is used as support material for Hg0
The Hg oxidation activity of VWTi
was promoted by support
There was synergistic effect between
V2O5 and CeO2 on Hg0 oxidation.
Hg oxidation over V0.80WTiCe0.25
follows a Mars–Maessen mechanism.
a r t i c l e
i n f o
Article history:
Received 8 October 2014
Received in revised form 21 January 2015
Accepted 2 March 2015
Available online 20 March 2015
Catalytic oxidation
Elemental mercury
Flue gas
a b s t r a c t
In order to enhance the catalytic activity for elemental mercury (Hg0) oxidation without the aid of HCl,
CeO2 was added into the support to modify V2O5–WO3/TiO2 catalysts. The performance of V2O5–WO3/
TiO2–CeO2 (VWTiCe) catalysts on Hg0 oxidation as well as the catalytic mechanism was also studied.
The catalysts were characterized by BET, XRD and XPS techniques. The results showed that the performance on Hg0 oxidation was promoted by the introduction of CeO2. NO and SO2 has a promoting effect
on Hg0 oxidation in the presence of O2. Besides, the inhibitive effect of NH3 on Hg0 oxidation was confirmed by NH3 consuming the surface oxygen of catalyst. The addition of CeO2 improved the ability to
resist H2O. Results also indicated that the Hg0 oxidation efficiencies of V0.80WTiCe0.25 catalysts were
thought to be aided by synergistic effect between V2O5 and CeO2. Hg0 oxidation over V0.80WTiCe0.25 follows a Mars–Maessen mechanism where lattice oxygen of V2O5 reacts with adjacently absorbed Hg0.
Ó 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Mercury pollution has received considerable attention from
environmental researchers due to its high volatility, long persistence, and strong bioaccumulative properties [1–3]. Coal
⇑ Corresponding author at: College of Environmental Science and Engineering,
Hunan University, Changsha 410082, PR China. Tel./fax: +86 731 88649216.
E-mail addresses: [email protected], [email protected] (C. Li).
0016-2361/Ó 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
combustion is a significant fraction of anthropogenic source of
mercury emission [4]. In January 2013, 140 nations adopted the
first legally binding international treaty to set enforceable limits
on emissions of mercury and exclude, phase out, or restrict some
products that contain mercury [5].
A number of technologies have been used for mercury control
from coal combustion flue gas, such as sorbent injection [6], catalytic oxidation [7] and photochemical oxidation [8]. It was
reported [9] that the efficiency of mercury control methods
L. Zhao et al. / Fuel 153 (2015) 361–369
depends largely on the form of mercury. Mercury in the flue gas
from coal combustion is often classified into three forms, i.e. elemental mercury (Hg0), oxidized mercury (Hg2+), and particleassociated mercury (HgP) [10–12]. Hg2+ and HgP can be easily
removed by existing air pollution control installations such as fabric filters (FF), cold-side or hot-side electrostatic precipitators
(ESPs), wet or dry flue gas desulfurization (FGD) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) [13]. However, Hg0 is much difficult to be
capture by air pollution control devices because of its high volatility and nearly insolubility in water [14–16]. Therefore, development of viable technologies for the effective conversion of Hg0 to
Hg2+ has become the focus of many investigations in recent years.
With extensive application of the SCR technology in coal-fired
power plants, lots of full-scale tests have been carried out to evaluate the performance of the SCR catalysts on Hg0 oxidation [16–19].
As a typical commercial NH3–SCR catalyst, V2O5–WO3/TiO2 catalysts not only show high catalytic activity for NO reduction but also
exhibit the co-benefit of promoting mercury oxidation [20].
Consequently, a low cost option for control of mercury from coal
fired power plants can be achieved by this co-benefit of SCR
It is well-known that the involved oxidants are mainly oxygen
and chlorine in real flue gas. However, in China, the chlorine content of feed-coal (63–318 mg/kg) is much lower than that of US
coals (628 mg/kg) [21–23]. Thus, catalytic oxidation of Hg0 using
gaseous oxygen as the oxidant is an environment-friendly and economical method for Hg0 control. However, the conventional SCR
catalysts were not effective enough for Hg0 oxidation in the
absence of HCl. Accordingly, how to improve the catalytic activity
for Hg0 oxidation without HCl has become an important research
scope the co-benefit performance of SCR catalysts. Up to now,
many kinds of catalysts have been investigated for SCR such as
metal oxides supported on TiO2 [24–26]. However, TiO2 still exhibits some drawbacks where improvements can be made, such as
low surface area [27,28]. In general, appropriate active sites,
high-surface-area supports, and their interaction are important to
the activity of the catalysts [29]. Thus, in order to improve the
properties of TiO2, the sol–gel method was used to synthesize
nano-sized CeO2–TiO2 carriers. It has been reported that TiO2–
CeO2 mixed oxide is a promising catalyst for the SCR of NO with
NH3 in the presence of oxygen [30,31]. A Ce–Ti based (CeO2–
TiO2) catalyst showed excellent NH3–SCR activity, high N2 selectivity, broad operation temperature window, and high resistance to
space velocity [32]. What is more, for CeTi catalyst, the combination of SO2 and NO without HCl resulted in high Hg0 oxidation
efficiency [33]. Accordingly, CeO2–TiO2 mixed oxide is extensively
studied for emission control. It is well known that cerium has two
stable oxidation states (Ce3+ and Ce4+), which could provide cerium
with significant oxygen storage capability through the redox shift
between the two oxidation states [34]. Meanwhile, CeO2 has been
studied for Hg0 oxidation and it could enhance catalytic activity
due to its oxygen storage capability by storing or releasing O via
the Ce4+/Ce3+ redox couple [35]. Furthermore, CeO2 based catalysts
were reported to have resistance to the effect of water vapor
[30,33]. Consequently, CeO2 is widely used in composite materials
and as a catalyst support material [36]. However, catalysts with
nano-sized TiO2–CeO2 composite oxides carrier such as V2O5–
WO3/TiO2–CeO2 for Hg0 oxidation without HCl and the catalytic
mechanism have rarely been reported.
The present work aimed to improve mercury oxidation activity
without the aid of HCl as well as reveal the catalytic mechanism of
CeO2 modified support on V2O5–WO3/TiO2 catalysts. A series of
experiments and characterizations were carried out to probe into
the superiority of catalyst with nano-sized TiO2–CeO2 composite
oxide carriers. Besides, the effects of individual flue gas components on Hg0 oxidation were also studied.
2. Experimental section
2.1. Reagents
All the reagents used in this work were analytical pure grade
(AR), including: The anatase-type nanosize TiO2 powder (99.8%,
Chengdu Ai Keda Chemical Technology Co.), cerium nitrate
(99.0%, Kemiou Chemical Reagent Co.), anhydrous ethanol
(99.7%, Kemiou Chemical Reagent Co.), nitric acid (68.0%,
Sinopharm Chemical Reagent Co), butyl titanate (99.0%, Kemiou
Chemical Reagent Co.), ammonium wolframate (90.0%,
Sinopharm Chemical Reagent Co), ammonium metavanadate
(99.0%, Kemiou Chemical Reagent Co.) and Oxalic acid (99.5%,
Sinopharm Chemical Reagent Co). Ultrapure water was applied
to prepare the required solutions.
2.2. Preparation of catalysts
TiO2–CeO2 composite oxide carriers were prepared by a sol–gel
method. Specifically as follows: a certain amount of cerium nitrate,
anhydrous ethanol (0.6 mol), ultrapure water (1.9 mol) and nitric
acid (0.1 mol) were mixed in the beakers, which were stirred for
30 min and labeled as A solution; a requisite amount of butyl titanate (0.1 mol) were stirred in anhydrous ethanol (2.3 mol) for
30 min and labeled as B solution; then B solution was added
drop-wisely to A solution with vigorous stirring. After stirring for
5 h at room temperature, the sol was concentrated in 40 °C water
bath and subsequently dried at 80 °C for 24 h. The gel was calcinated at 500 °C for 5 h in air. TiO2–CeO2 composite oxide carriers
was denoted as TiCea (‘‘a’’ represents the CeO2/TiO2 mass ratio;
a = 0.11, 0.25, 0.43, 0.67, 1.00).
Stoichiometric amount of ammonium wolframate solution and
ammonium metavanadate were mixed in the oxalic solution of
desired proportions, which was labeled as C solution. V2O5–WO3/
TiO2–CeO2 catalysts were prepared by the dispersal of a certain
mass of TiCea powder into 50 ml C solution at 80 °C to obtain the
slurry. The slurry was stirred for 2 h, after that, the mixture was
exposed to an ultrasonic bath for 2 h, dried at 105 °C for 12 h and
subsequently calcined at 500 °C for 3 h in air. Finally, CeO2 doped
catalyst V2O5–WO3/TiO2 was obtained and abbreviated as
VxWTiCea (‘‘x’’ represents the V2O5/(V2O5 + WO3 + TiO2 + CeO2)
mass ratio, x = 0.40 102, 0.60 102, 0.80 102, 1.00 102,
1.20 102). Meanwhile, WO3/TiO2 (WTi) catalysts, V2O5–WO3/
TiO2 (VWTi) catalysts and WO3/TiO2–CeO2 (WTiCe) catalysts were
synthesized by impregnation method, and the processes were the
same as the foregoing conditions. The mass loading of WO3 on all
catalysts was 8%.
2.3. Catalytic activity measurement
The experimental setup for evaluating Hg0 oxidation on the
samples was shown in Fig. 1. The catalytic activities of Hg0 oxidation were tested at 80–350 °C in a fixed bed reactor under atmospheric pressure. The reaction temperature was controlled by a
digital temperature controller. 0.5 g catalyst samples were packed
in the center of the quartz tube (i. d. 20 mm). The simulated flue
gas (SFG) was consisted of 70.00 lg/m3 Hg0, 500 ppm SO2 (20.4%
SO2 + 79.6% N2), 1000 ppm NO (20.0% NO + 80.0%N2), 12%CO2
(99.999%), 5% O2 (99.999%) and balanced gas N2 (99.999%). The
feed gas was controlled by mass flow meters and injected into
the reactor at a total rate of 1 L min1 with a gas hourly space
velocity of 1.0 105 h1. A constant quantity of Hg0 vapor was
supplied into the gas steam, with an Hg0 permeation tube (VICI
Metronics, USA) which was immersed in a water bath. A peristaltic
pump transferred water into the Teflon tube wrapped with a
L. Zhao et al. / Fuel 153 (2015) 361–369
temperature-controlled heating tape and then water vapor was
generated. 100 ml pure N2 took the water vapor along and mixed
with the flue gas. Besides, In order to avoid adsorption of Hg0
and condensation of water vapor on the inner surface, all Teflon
lines that Hg0 and H2O (g) passed through were heated up to
120 °C. The Hg0 concentration in the inlet and outlet gas was online
measured by a RA-915 M Mercury Analyzer (LUMEX Ltd, Russia)
which can measure solely the concentration of Hg0. Meanwhile,
Hg0 concentration was recorded after the process had reached
equilibrium. The time was more than 2 h. The experiment was carried out to ensure the reliability of data obtained from the test on
catalyst performance. Result showed that VWTiCe catalyst possessed excellent stability on Hg0 oxidation and could perform well
in presupposed time quantum of 2 h for experiment. Water vapor
was removed by the condenser before proceeding to the mercury
Before the test, the flue gas bypassed the reactor and Hg0 concentration in the inlet ([Hg0]in) was measured. Then, the gas flow
was switched to pass through the catalysts and Hg0 concentration
in the outlet ([Hg0]out) was measured. The loss of Hg0 concentration
over the catalysts should be due to the oxidation or adsorption of
Hg0. In order to avoid possible bias because of Hg0 adsorption, at
the beginning of the Hg0 catalytic oxidation tests, the catalysts were
first saturated with the established [Hg0]in under N2 atmosphere at
room temperature [23,33,37]. The adsorption test result indicated
that the capacities of catalyst samples to adsorb Hg0 were negligible
at room temperature. Therefore, Hg0 oxidation efficiency (Eoxi) over
the catalysts was quantified by the following equation:
Eoxi ð%Þ ¼
½Hg0 in ½Hg0 out
½Hg0 in
2.4. Characterization
Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area, average pore size,
and average pore volume of the samples were analyzed by
Micromeritics Tristar II 3020 analyzer (Micromeritics Instrument
Crop, USA). Each sample was degassed in vacuum at 180 °C for
5 h. The specific surface areas were calculated by the BET method.
The average pore diameter and average pore volume were
obtained from the desorption branches of N2 adsorption isotherm
and calculated by the BJH (Barrett–Joyner–Halenda) formula.
X-ray diffractogram (XRD) measurements were carried out on
Rigaku rotaflex D/Max-C powder diffractometer (Rigaku, Japan)
to examine the crystallinity and dispersivity of each species on
the support. The XRD patterns were used nickel-filtered Cu Ka
radiation (k = 0.1543 nm) in the range of 10–80° (2h) with a step
size of 0.02°.
X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) analysis was carried
out at room temperature on a K-Alpha 1063 X-ray photoelectron
spectrometer (Thermo Fisher Scientific, UK) with an Al Ka X-ray
source. The observed spectra were calibrated with the C 1s binding
energy (BE) value of 284.6 eV.
3. Results and discussion
3.1. Catalytic activity tests
The comparison of catalytic performance of different catalysts
as a function of temperature from 80 to 350 °C was shown in
Fig. 2. Eoxi over WTi was below 40% in the entire temperature
range. On the TiCe0.25 catalyst, Eoxi increased with temperature
from 80 to 250 °C, and then decreased when temperature further
increased from 250 to 350 °C. V0.80WTiCe0.25 performed the best
mercury oxidation and approximately 88.93% mercury oxidation
efficiency was obtained at 250 °C. Additionally, it was clearly found
that the addition of ceria noticeably expanded the active temperature window and also improved the catalytic performance on Hg0
oxidation. In the whole temperature range, Eoxi over V0.80WTiCe0.25
was higher than that over WTiCe0.25, V0.80WTi and TiCe0.25 catalyst.
This result demonstrated that the combination of CeO2 and V2O5
resulted in significant synergy for Hg0 oxidation.
The effect of CeO2 modified on the performance of V0.80WTiCea
was displayed in Fig. 3. The addition of CeO2 significantly enhanced
Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of the experimental setup.
L. Zhao et al. / Fuel 153 (2015) 361–369
the mercury oxidation activity of V0.80WTiCea. For instance, Eoxi of
V0.80WTi was only 42.59%, while the minimal Eoxi still had 65.10%
over V0.80WTiCea. Moreover, Catalyst with a CeO2/TiO2 mass ratio
of 0.25 performed the best activity and 88.93% mercury oxidation
efficiency was obtained. However, further increase of CeO2/TiO2
mass ratio, Hg0 oxidation efficiency would be weakened.
Accordingly, the optimal CeO2/TiO2 mass ratio was about 0.25.
To investigate the synergetic interaction between V2O5 and
CeO2, the effect of various V2O5 loading from on the performance
of VxWTiCe0.25 was also studied, and the results were depicted in
Fig. 4. For all VxWTiCe0.25, Eoxi increased with temperature from
80 to 250 °C and then decreased when temperature further
increased. In the temperature range (250–350 °C), increase of
V2O5 loading yielded more Hg0 oxidation. This illustrated that
the V2O5-rich catalyst showed superior activity. However, activity
difference between V0.80WTiCe0.25 and V1.00WTiCe0.25 was relatively small in comparison with that of other catalysts at 250 °C.
Besides, V1.00WTiCe0.25 showed almost the same activity as
V1.20WTiCe0.25 at 200 °C. It is worth noting that V0.80WTiCe0.25 displayed excellent performance for Hg0 oxidation with temperature
from 80 to 150 °C. According to the literature [38], CeO2 was active
for Hg0 oxidation at low temperature. Above results demonstrated
that Hg0 oxidation activities of VxWTiCe0.25 were aided by
synergistic effect between V2O5 and CeO2.
Fig. 3. Effect of CeO2 modified on the performance of V0.80WTiCea. Reaction
conditions: 1000 ppm NO, 500 ppm SO2, 5% O2, 12% CO2, N2 as balance gas.
3.2. Characterization of V0.80WTiCe0.25
3.2.1. Analysis of specific area (BET) and XRD patterns
The BET surface area, BJH pore volume and average pore volume
of different samples were summarized in Table 1. From the table,
WTiCe0.25 and V0.80WTiCe0.25 exhibited higher specific surface
areas. The introduction of CeO2 increased the surface area and pore
volume but lowered the average pore diameter (Fig. 5a). The
results suggested the addition of CeO2 was beneficial to the specific
area accretion. The high specific surface area of the TiO2–CeO2
composite oxides was due to the amorphous structure that the oxides formed through the sol–gel procedure [38]. Furthermore, as
the impregnation of V2O5, the specific surface area and pore volume of V0.80WTiCe0.25 decreased. It might be caused by deposited
active oxides, which penetrated into the pores of the support. In
addition, as displayed in Fig. 5b and c, for V0.80WTiCe0.25, there
was significant hysteresis between adsorption and desorption isotherms, which is usually an indication of mesoporous materials.
This clarified that the mesoporous structure was formed by
Fig. 4. Effect of VxWTiCe0.25 catalysts of various V loadings. Reaction conditions:
1000 ppm NO, 500 ppm SO2, 5% O2, 12% CO2, N2 as balance gas.
aggregation of nano-particles. This structure might facilitate mass
transfer in the catalytic reaction [29].
The XRD patterns of the catalysts were displayed in Fig. 6. The
characteristic peaks of V2O5 and WO3 could be hardly detected for
all catalysts, which were due to the widely dispersion and poorer
crystalline on the surface. From the XRD figure, it can be seen that
the diffraction peaks of WTi and V0.80WTi showed typical anatasephase TiO2. The diffraction line of WTi and V0.80WTi were narrow
and sharp, which indicated the formation of large TiO2 crystal particles [38]. In the pattern of the WTiCe0.25 and V0.80WTiCe0.25, only
the broadened diffraction peak of anatase-phase TiO2 was observed.
It also can be seen that the height of half-peak breadth of TiO2 on
Table 1
The surface area, pore volume and pore diameter of the samples.
Fig. 2. Comparison of catalytic performance of different catalysts. Reaction
conditions: 1000 ppm NO, 500 ppm SO2, 5% O2, 12% CO2, N2 as balance gas.
BET surface area
Pore volume
Average pore
diameter (nm)
L. Zhao et al. / Fuel 153 (2015) 361–369
Fig. 5. Physical properties of different catalysts. (a) Particle size distribution of WTi, V0.80WTi, WTiCe0.25 and V0.80WTiCe0.25; (b) N2 adsorption and desorption isotherms of
WTiCe0.25; (c) N2 adsorption and desorption isotherms of V0.80WTiCe0.25.
WTiCe0.25 and V0.80WTiCe0.25 were much lower than that on WTi
and V0.80WTi. This revealed that the crystal particle of TiO2 on
WTiCe0.25 and V0.80WTiCe0.25 were much smaller than that on
WTi and V0.80WTi. Moreover, cubic CeO2 was not observed in
WTiCe0.25 and V0.80WTiCe0.25. This demonstrated that CeO2 probably only contained amorphous phase or crystallite phase with very
small particle size [31].
Thus, according to the BET and XRD results, the addition of an
appropriate amount of CeO2 was beneficial not only for the formation of the TiO2 crystal phase but also for the dispersion of active
sites over the carrier. Besides, high concentration of amorphous
or highly dispersed crystalline CeO2 should be a rational reason
for the excellent performance of the V0.80WTiCe0.25.
3.2.2. Element valences of V0.80WTiCe0.25
To determine the oxidation states of the element in these
materials and to get a better understanding nature of the
Fig. 6. XRD patterns of WTi, V0.80WTi, WTiCe0.25 and V0.80WTiCe0.25.
interactions in the catalyst system, the catalysts were investigated
by XPS technique. The XPS spectra for O 1s for fresh WTi,
WTiCe0.25, V0.80WTi and V0.80WTiCe0.25 were shown in Fig. 7. It
could be seen that the introduction of CeO2 increased the binging
energy of O. The peak appeared at low binding energy (529.5–
530.0 eV) could be assigned to be the lattice oxygen (denoted as
Ob) [39], while the binding energy of 531.0–531.6 eV was assigned
to the chemisorbed oxygen (denoted as Oa), such as O2 and O
belonging to defect oxide or hydroxyl like group [40]. Oa was often
thought to be the most active oxygen and played an important role
in oxidation reaction [41,42]. In this study Oa ratio of WTiCe0.25
(42.63%), calculated by Oa/(Oa + Ob), was higher than that of WTi
(33.21%), which meant that CeO2 was helpful for mercury oxidation. CeO2 was easy to form labile oxygen vacancies and particularly the relatively high mobility of bulk oxygen species, which
may conduce to the improvement of chemisorbed oxygen [43].
Moreover, Oa ratio of V0.80WTiCe0.25 (48.32%) was higher than that
of WTiCe0.25 (42.63%) and V0.80WTi (41.19%). This result meant that
there was synergistic effect between V2O5 and CeO2, which
resulted in more surface oxygen vacancies. It also meant that
V0.80WTiCe0.25 might have better activity for mercury oxidation
than WTi, WTiCe0.25 and V0.80WTi. Thus, the addition of CeO2 has
a positive effect on mercury oxidation reaction. This conclusion
was in good agreement with the results of the activity tests for
these catalysts.
The Ce 3d spectra of fresh V0.80WTiCe0.25 and spent
V0.80WTiCe0.25 investigated in this study were presented in Fig. 8.
The bands labeled u1 and v1 represent the 3d104f1 initial electronic
state, corresponding to Ce3+, whereas the peaks labeled u, u2, u3, v,
v2, and v3 represent the 3d104f0 state of Ce4+ ions [44]. It could be
clearly seen the high ratio of Ce3+ (40.27%) over fresh
V0.80WTiCe0.25. In comparison with the fresh sample, the ratio of
Ce3+ increased to 43.82% on spent V0.80WTiCe0.25. This implied that
the conversion from Ce4+ to Ce3+ was predominant within the
redox shift between Ce3+ and Ce4+. Within the redox shift, labile
oxygen vacancies and bulk oxygen species with relatively high
L. Zhao et al. / Fuel 153 (2015) 361–369
strong interactions between V2O4 and CeO2. It was most likely that
V4+ could be oxidized to V5+, which was benefited from the transformation from Ce4+ to Ce3+ ions.
The Hg 4f spectra of spent V0.80WTiCe0.25 and spent
V0.80WTiCe0.25 were presented in Fig. 10. The Hg 4f spectrum of
spent V0.80WTiCe0.25 exhibited contributions from two components. According to the reported binding energies for Hg 4f on
reference [48], the components can be ascribed to Hg0 and HgO
with two peaks locating at 102.6 eV and 108.5 eV, respectively.
Therefore, the XPS peak intensities and binding energies of Hg 4f
line indicated that mercury was present as Hg0 and HgO on the
spent V0.80WTiCe0.25. It was concluded that Hg0 was firstly
adsorbed onto the active sites of the catalyst, and subsequently
oxidized to HgO. It was very likely that Hg0 oxidation of
V0.80WTiCe0.25 could be mainly influenced by the O species on
the samples surface. However, the absence of peaks for Hg
adsorbed over the V0.80WTi indicated that the concentration of
Hg adsorbed was below the capabilities of XPS equipment detection or the adsorbed Hg desorbed from the surface of catalyst.
This results confirmed that CeO2 modified V0.80WTi might have
better activity for the adsorption and oxidation of Hg0 than unmodified V0.80WTi. In other words, the addition of CeO2 not only
improved the oxygen storage, but also enhanced the redox activity
through the interaction between V2O5 and CeO2.
3.3. Effect of flue gas constituents on Hg0 oxidation
Fig. 7. O1s XPS spectra for WTi, V0.80WTi, WTiCe0.25 and V0.80WTiCe0.25.
To explore the roles of individual flue gas components in Hg0
oxidation, the effects of reactant gas composition on activity were
studied. The experimental conditions are listed in Table 2.
Experiments were conducted at 250 °C, by individual flue gas components balanced in pure N2 and/or in combination with O2. The
results were shown in Fig. 11.
mobility could be easily generated [43]. Furthermore, it was
reported that the lattice oxygen defects over catalyst surface would
be improved by increasing the content of Ce3+, which improved the
redox transformation between Ce3+ and Ce4+ [45]. Meanwhile, two
peaks at binding energy of 517.2 eV and 515.9 eV for the fresh
V0.80WTiCe0.25 (Fig. 9) represented V2O4 species with V4+ and
V2O5 species with V5+, respectively [46,47]. However, only V5+
was detected on spent V0.80WTiCe0.25. It was assumed that V4+
could be oxidized to V5+ over the sample. This phenomenon
implied V2O4 and CeO2 were in a partially reduced state on the surface of catalyst, which might be attributable to the presence of
3.3.1. Effect of O2
O2 promoted Hg0 oxidation. In pure N2 gas flow, Eoxi was low
which should be due to gas-phase or weakly adsorbed Hg0 reacting
with lattice oxygen to form mercuric oxide [49]. Nevertheless, Eoxi
increased from 41.98% to 71.13% when 5% O2 was added to the gas
flow. Obvious increase of Eoxi was detected when O2 concentration
further increased to 10% as well. It has been reported that lattice
oxygen of the metal oxides can serve as the oxidant of Hg, forming
mercuric oxide (HgO) [50]. Eoxi was low may be attributed to the
consumption of the lattice oxygen. O2 (g) can replenish the consumed chemisorbed oxygen and regenerate the lattice oxygen,
Fig. 8. Ce3d XPS spectra for fresh – V0.80WTiCe0.25 and spent – V0.80WTiCe0.25 (the
sample was subjected to Hg0 oxidation under simulated flue gas with the
temperature of 250 °C).
Fig. 9. V2P XPS spectra for fresh – V0.80WTiCe0.25 and spent – V0.80WTiCe0.25 (the
sample was subjected to Hg0 oxidation under simulated flue gas with the
temperature of 250 °C).
L. Zhao et al. / Fuel 153 (2015) 361–369
Fig. 10. Hg4f XPS spectra for spent – V0.80WTiCe0.25 and spent – V0.80WTiCe0.25 (the
sample was subjected to Hg0 oxidation under simulated flue gas with the
temperature of 250 °C).
which serves as the Hg0 oxidant [37]. Hence, obvious increase of
Hg0 oxidation efficiency was detected when 5% O2 (g) was introduced to the pure N2 carrier gas or even when O2 (g) concentration
further increased to 10%.
3.3.2. Effect of NO
Addition of 500 ppm NO has an enhancing effect on Hg0 oxidation under pure N2 atmosphere. Compared to the results obtained
under N2 atmosphere, the oxidation Hg0 concentration was higher
when NO was present in the reactor. This may be due to the addition of CeO2 in the catalyst which can adsorb and oxidation NO. Jin
et al. [51] found that a fraction of NO reacted with the surface oxygen to form NOx species, which could enhance Hg0 oxidation [49].
However, the addition of 1000 ppm NO into pure N2 resulted in a
slight decrease of Eoxi from 75.10% to 68.42%. Nonetheless, adding
5% O2 and 1000 ppm NO to the flow gas improved the catalytic performance. It was hypothesized that lattice oxygen might participate in NO oxidation. The reaction consumed surface oxygen
which resulted in a slight decrease of Hg0 oxidation at 1000 ppm
NO. Hg0 oxidation would be increased once surface oxygen was
enough for NO and Hg0 oxidation. Therefore, NO has a promotional
effect on Hg0 oxidation in the presence of O2.
3.3.3. Effect of SO2
The addition of 500 ppm SO2 slightly promoted the Hg0 oxidation efficiency. 500 ppm SO2 added to gas stream with O2 (g) also
Table 2
Experimental conditions.
Flue gas components (1 L min1)
Set I
N2 + 5% O2
N2 + 10% O2
N2 + 500 ppm NO
N2 + 1000 ppm NO
N2 + 1000 ppm NO + 5% O2
N2 + 500 ppm SO2
N2 + 1000 ppm SO2
N2 + 500 ppm SO2 + 5% O2
SFG:N2 + 1000 ppm NO + 500 ppm SO2 + 12%
CO2 + 5% O2
SFG + 8% H2O
N2 + 1000 ppm NH3
N2 + 1000 ppm NH3 + 5% O2
SFG + 400 ppm NH3
SFG + 700 ppm NH3
SFG + 1000 ppm NH3
Set II
Set IV
Set V
Fig. 11. Effects of individual flue gas components on Hg0 oxidation of
enhanced the catalytic activity. This indicated that promotional
effect of SO2 on Hg0 oxidation was obtained with the aid of O2
(g). However, the addition of 1000 ppm SO2 into pure N2 resulted
in a slight decrease of Eoxi from 47.04% to 41.85%. It was very likely
that SO2 reacted with the surface oxygen to form SO3 [52]. The
reaction consumed the reactive oxygen which was active for Hg0
oxidation in the pure N2 [53]. Thus, the inhibitive effect of SO2
would be obviously reduced by the addition of O2 (g). These behaviors were well consistent with the literature results [54].
3.3.4. Effect of H2O
H2O inhibited Hg0 oxidation over the V0.80WTiCe0.25 due to
competitive adsorption, which was consistent with the values
reported in the literature [33]. However, compared with the previous research [28], the reduction of Eoxi over the V0.80WTiCe0.25
was minor. This result implied that the V0.80WTiCe0.25 exhibited
good resistance to H2O.
3.3.5. Effect of NH3
As a SCR catalyst, V0.80WTiCe0.25 would probably be used under
SCR conditions where NH3 is usually present. Hence, it is necessary
to study the effect of NH3 on the oxidation of Hg0. 1000 ppm NH3
was added to pure N2 atmosphere. NH3 concentration had a slight
influence on Eoxi: the efficiency was 49.70% at 1000 ppm NH3 plus
5% O2 atmosphere which was slightly higher than that under
1000 ppm NH3 without O2. According to the previous study, NH3
consumed the surface oxygen that is responsible for Hg0 oxidation
[55]. Gaseous NH3 are adsorbed on the catalyst surface to form
coordinated NH3 and NH2. The possible reactions over VWTiCe
are proposed to be as follows:
NH3ðgÞ ! NH3ðadÞ
NH3ðadÞ þ O ! NH2ðadÞ þ OHðadÞ
where O⁄ are active surface oxygen of the catalyst. However, many
researchers have confirmed that there is a competitive adsorption
between NH3 and Hg0. Therefore, the competitive adsorption of
NH3 and Hg0 on the VWTiCe catalyst was investigated by a desorption experiment, the results are shown in Fig. 12. V0.80WTiCe0.25
saturated by Hg0 at 250 °C under a flow of Hg0 balanced in N2
was used in this test. From the figure, no obvious increase in the
Hg0 concentration was observed after adding 1000 ppm NH3 and
L. Zhao et al. / Fuel 153 (2015) 361–369
Gaseous Hg0 was firstly adsorbed onto the active sites of catalyst to
form Hg0(ad); and then the catalytic reaction is losing one oxygen
atom from V2O5 to Hg0(ad) to form HgO. The consumption of V2O5
could be compensated by V2O4 bond with CeO2. Finally, the missing
lattice oxygen of CeO2 would be replaced by oxygen from the flue
gas. The redox couples of V4+/V5+ seems to play an important role
for mercury oxidation to proceed. CeO2 contains many lattice oxygen
species on the surface because of the cerium in CeO2 can easily
occupy two oxidation states [CeO2 (Ce4+) M Ce2O3 (Ce3+)].
Consequently, CeO2 can contribute to the redox process of V4+/V5+.
It provided lattice oxygen to V2O5 to increase the valence and oxidation ability of V2O5.
4. Conclusions
Fig. 12. Desorption of Hg from V0.80WTiCe0.25 by NH3.
turning off the Hg0 at the same time. The result demonstrates that
NH3 cannot inhibit Hg0 adsorption onto the active sites.
Besides, Eoxi under SCR atmosphere was also investigated. The
SCR atmosphere was defined as SFG plus NH3, with the NH3/NO
ratio of 1. When 1000 ppm NH3 was introduced into the SFG to
make SCR atmosphere, Eoxi decreased from 88.93% to 66.78%.
This illustrated that the presence of NH3 inhibited Hg0 removal
over the V0.80WTiCe0.25 catalyst. However, the Eoxi significantly
increased with the decrease of NH3/NO ratio. As already mentioned, NO had a promotional effect on Hg0 oxidation over
V0.80WTiCe0.25 in the presence of O2. It should be noted that the
SCR reaction consumed NO and O2. Thus, it would be deduced that
the concentrations of NO and O2 would increase with the decrease
of NH3/NO ratio as the SCR reaction occurred simultaneously with
Hg0 oxidation. In another words, there would be more available
surface oxygen for NO promoting the oxidation of Hg0 with the
decrease of NH3/NO ratio. Nevertheless, the Eoxi of 66.78% is still
encouraging, since lower space velocity and the typical flue gas
with HCl would result in higher Hg0 oxidation efficiency.
3.4. Mechanism
From the results above, the catalysis mechanism for Hg0 oxidation can be explained by the Mars–Maessen mechanism. In this
mechanism, adsorbed Hg0 would react with a lattice oxidant of
catalyst (either O or Cl) that is replenished from the gas phase
[10,56]. The active oxygen atom could produce by breaking O–O
bonds on the surface of V2O5, then Hg0(ad) molecular could pick up
the dissociated O atom and forming HgO. This explains why Eoxi
gradually increased as O2 concentration increased. The possible
mechanism for enhanced Hg0 oxidation could be explained by the
following reactions:
Hg0ðgÞ þ surface ! Hg0ðadÞ
Hg0ðadÞ þ V2 O5 ! HgOðadÞ þ V2 O4
HgOðadÞ ! HgOðgÞ
V2 O4 þ 2CeO2 ! V2 O5 þ Ce2 O3
Ce2 O3 þ O2ðgÞ ! 2CeO2
The overall reactions can be summarized as follows:
Hg0ðgÞ þ O2ðgÞ ! HgOðgÞ
The CeO2 modified VWTi displayed excellent performance for
Hg0 oxidation. Hg0 oxidation could be improved by the addition
of CeO2 and V0.80WTiCe0.25 showed the best mercury oxidation efficiency in simulated coal-fired flue gas at 250 °C. NO and SO2 were
observed to promote Hg0 removal with the presence of O2. The catalyst exhibited good resistance to H2O. Besides, the activity of catalysts for Hg0 oxidation decreased with the presence of NH3.
Furthermore, the high activity of catalyst might ascribe to synergistic effect between V2O5 and CeO2. A likely reaction pathway for Hg0
oxidation on V0.80WTiCe0.25 was Mars–Maessen mechanism, where
lattice oxygen of V2O5 reacts with adjacently absorbed Hg0. Being a
novel SCR catalyst with higher Hg0 oxidation efficiency, further
investigations will be to examine the performance of catalysts for
simultaneous NOx and Hg0 removal without HCl.
This work was financially supported by the National Natural
Science Foundation of China (51278177, 51478173), and the
National High Technology Research and Development Program of
China (863 Program, No. 2011AA060803).
[1] Lee W, Bae GN. Removal of elemental mercury (Hg (0)) by nanosized V2O5/TiO2
catalysts. Environ Sci Technol 2009;43(5):1522–7.
[2] Li J, Yan N, Qu Z, Qiao S, Yang S, Guo Y, et al. Catalytic oxidation of elemental
mercury over the modified catalyst Mn/a-Al2O3 at lower temperatures.
Environ Sci Technol 2009;44(1):426–31.
[3] Xu W, Wang H, Zhu T, Kuang J, Jing P. Mercury removal from coal combustion
flue gas by modified fly ash. J Environ Sci 2013;25(2):393–8.
[4] Pirrone N, Cinnirella S, Feng X, Finkelman RB, Friedli HR, Leaner J, et al. Global
mercury emissions to the atmosphere from anthropogenic and natural
sources. Atmos Chem Phys 2010;10(13):5951–64.
[5] Auzmendi-Murua I, Castillo Á, Bozzelli JW. Mercury oxidation via chlorine,
bromine, and iodine under atmospheric conditions: thermochemistry and
kinetics. J Phys Chem A 2014;118(16):2959–75.
[6] Zheng Y, Jensen AD, Windelin C, Jensen F. Dynamic measurement of mercury
adsorption and oxidation on activated carbon in simulated cement kiln flue
gas. Fuel 2012;93:649–57.
[7] Li JR, He C, Shang XS, Chen JS, Yu XW, Yao YJ. Oxidation efficiency of elemental
mercury in flue gas by SCR De-NOx catalysts. J Fuel Chem Technol
[8] McLarnon CR, Granite EJ, Pennline HW. The PCO process for photochemical
removal of mercury from flue gas. Fuel Process Technol 2005;87(1):85–9.
[9] Zhuang Y, Thompson JS, Zygarlicke CJ, Pavlish JH. Development of a mercury
transformation model in coal combustion flue gas. Environ Sci Technol
[10] Presto AA, Granite EJ. Survey of catalysts for oxidation of mercury in flue gas.
Environ Sci Technol 2006;40(18):5601–9.
[11] Granite EJ, Myers CR, King WP, Stanko DC, Pennline HW. Sorbents for mercury
capture from fuel gas with application to gasification systems. Ind Eng Chem
Res 2006;45(13):4844–8.
[12] Hsi HC, Lee HH, Hwang JF, Chen W. Mercury speciation and distribution in a
660-Megawatt utility boiler in taiwan firing bituminous coals. J Air Waste
Manage 2010;60(5):514–22.
[13] Wiatros-Motyka MM, Sun CG, Stevens LA, Snape CE. High capacity coprecipitated manganese oxides sorbents for oxidative mercury capture. Fuel
L. Zhao et al. / Fuel 153 (2015) 361–369
[14] Sun C, Snape CE, Liu H. Development of low-cost functional adsorbents for
control of mercury (Hg) emissions from coal combustion. Energy Fuel
[15] Wang YJ, Liu Y, Wu ZB, Mo JS, Cheng B. Experimental study on the absorption
behaviors of gas phase bivalent mercury in Ca-based wet flue gas
desulfurization slurry system. J Hazard Mater 2010;183(1–3):902–7.
[16] Tao S, Li C, Fan X, Zeng G, Lu P, Zhang X, et al. Activated coke impregnated with
cerium chloride used for elemental mercury removal from simulated flue gas.
Chem Eng J 2012;210:547–56.
[17] Yang HM, Pan WP. Transformation of mercury speciation through the SCR
system in power plants. J Environ Sci 2007;19(2):181–4.
[18] Pudasainee D, Lee SJ, Lee SH, Kim JH, Jang HN, Cho SJ, et al. Effect of selective
catalytic reactor on oxidation and enhanced removal of mercury in coal-fired
power plants. Fuel 2010;89:804–9.
[19] Cao Y, Gao Z, Zhu J, Wang Q, Huang Y, Chiu C, et al. Impacts of halogen
additions on mercury oxidation, in a slipstream selective catalyst reduction
(SCR), reactor when burning sub-bituminous coal. Environ Sci Technol
[20] Hong HJ, Ham SW, Kim M, Lee SM, Lee JB. Characteristics of commercial
selective catalytic reduction catalyst for the oxidation of gaseous elemental
mercury with respect to reaction conditions. Korean J Chem Eng
[21] Yang S, Guo Y, Yan N, Wu D, He H, Xie J, et al. Remarkable effect of the
incorporation of titanium on the catalytic activity and SO2 poisoning
resistance of magnetic Mn–Fe spinel for elemental mercury capture. Appl
Catal B: Environ 2011;101(3–4):698–708.
[22] Tan Z, Su S, Qiu J, Kong F, Wang Z, Hao F, et al. Preparation and characterization
of Fe2O3–SiO2 composite and its effect on elemental mercury removal. Chem
Eng J 2012;195–196:218–25.
[23] Zhang A, Zheng W, Song J, Hu S, Liu Z, Xiang J. Cobalt manganese oxides
modified titania catalysts for oxidation of elemental mercury at low flue gas
temperature. Chem Eng J 2014;236:29–38.
[24] Lee KJ, Kumar PA, Maqbool MS, Rao KN, Song KH, Ha HP. Ceria added Sb–V2O5/
TiO2 catalysts for low temperature NH3 SCR: physico-chemical properties and
catalytic activity. Appl Catal B: Environ 2013;142–143:705–17.
[25] Lee SM, Park KH, Hong SC. MnOx/CeO2–TiO2 mixed oxide catalysts for the
selective catalytic reduction of NO with NH3 at low temperature. Chem Eng J
[26] Shen B, Yao Y, Ma H, Liu T. Ceria modified MnOx/TiO2-pillared clays catalysts
for the selective catalytic reduction of NO with NH3 at low temperature. Chin J
Catal 2011;32:1803–11.
[27] Pârvulescu VI, Boghosian S, Pârvulescu V, Jung SM, Grange P. Selective catalytic
reduction of NO with NH3 over mesoporous V2O5–TiO2–SiO2 catalysts. J Catal
[28] Li HL, Li Y, Wu CY, Zhang JY. Oxidation and capture of elemental mercury over
SiO2–TiO2–V2O5 catalysts in simulated low-rank coal combustion flue gas.
Chem Eng J 2011;169(1–3):186–93.
[29] Xie JK, Yan NQ, Yang SJ, Qu Z, Chen WM, Zhang WQ, et al. Synthesis and
characterization of nano-sized Mn–TiO2 catalysts and their application to
[30] Xu W, Yu Y, Zhang C, He H. Selective catalytic reduction of NO by NH3 over a
Ce/TiO2 catalyst. Catal Commun 2008;9(6):1453–7.
[31] Gao X, Jiang Y, Fu Y, Zhong Y, Luo Z, Cen K. Preparation and characterization of
CeO2/TiO2 catalysts for selective catalytic reduction of NO with NH3. Catal
Commun 2010;11(5):465–9.
[32] Shan W, Liu F, He H, Shi X, Zhang C. An environmentally-benign CeO2–TiO2
catalyst for the selective catalytic reduction of NOx with NH3 in simulated
diesel exhaust. Catal Today 2012;184:160–5.
[33] Li HL, Wu CY, Li Y, Zhang JY. CeO2–TiO2 catalysts for catalytic oxidation of
elemental mercury in low-rank coal combustion flue gas. Environ Sci Technol
[34] Shan W, Liu F, He H, Shi X, Zhang C. An environmentally-benign CeO2–TiO2
catalyst for the selective catalytic reduction of NOx with NH3 in simulated
diesel exhaust. Catal Today 2012;184(1):160–5.
[35] Wan Q, Duan L, He KB, Li JH. Removal of gaseous elemental mercury over a
CeO2–WO3/TiO2 nanocomposite in simulated coal-fired flue gas. Chem Eng J
[36] Campbell CT, Peden CH. Oxygen vacancies and catalysis on ceria surfaces.
Science 2005;309(5735):713–4.
[37] Li H, Wu CY, Li Y, Zhang J. Superior activity of MnOx–CeO2/TiO2 catalyst for
catalytic oxidation of elemental mercury at low flue gas temperatures. Appl
Catal B: Environ 2012;111–112:381–8.
[38] Gao X, Jiang Y, Zhong Y, Luo Z, Cen K. The activity and characterization of
CeO2–TiO2 catalysts prepared by the sol–gel method for selective catalytic
reduction of NO with NH3. J Hazard Mater 2010;174(1–3):734–9.
[39] Shan W, Liu F, He H, Shi X, Zhang C. A superior Ce–W–Ti mixed oxide catalyst
for the selective catalytic reduction of NOx with NH3. Appl Catal B: Environ
[40] Fang J, Bi X, Si D, Jiang Z, Huang W. Spectroscopic studies of interfacial
structures of CeO2–TiO2 mixed oxides. Appl Surf Sci 2007;253(22):8952–61.
[41] Wu Z, Jin R, Liu Y, Wang H. Ceria modified MnOx/TiO2 as a superior catalyst for
[42] Yu D, Liu Y, Wu Z. Low-temperature catalytic oxidation of toluene over
mesoporous MnOx–CeO2/TiO2 prepared by sol–gel method. Catal Commun
[43] Reddy BM, Khan A, Yamada Y, Kobayashi T, Loridant S, Volta JC. Structural
characterization of CeO2–TiO2 and V2O5/CeO2–TiO2 catalysts by Raman and
XPS techniques. J Phys Chem B 2003;107(22):5162–7.
[44] He H, Dai H, Au C. Defective structure, oxygen mobility, oxygen storage
capacity, and redox properties of RE-based (RE = Ce, Pr) solid solutions. Catal
Today 2004;90(3):245–54.
[45] Mao XB, Gao YQ, Gong MC. High performance Ce0.35Zr0.55Y0.1O1.95 rare earth
oxygen storage material, Chinese. J Inorg Chem 2006;22(8):1521–4.
[46] Lindström R, Maurice V, Groult H, Perrigaud L, Zanna S, Cohen C, et al. Liintercalation behaviour of vanadium oxide thin film prepared by thermal
oxidation of vanadium metal. Electrochim Acta 2006;51(23):5001–11.
[47] He S, Zhou JS, Zhu YQ, Luo ZY, Ni MJ, Cen KF. Mercury oxidation over a vanadiabased selective catalytic reduction catalyst. Energy Fuel 2009;23(1):253–9.
[48] He J, Reddy GK, Thiel SW, Smirniotis PG, Pinto NG. Ceria-modified manganese
oxide/titania materials for removal of elemental and oxidized mercury from
flue gas. J Phys Chem C 2011;115(49):24300–9.
[49] Li Y, Murphy PD, Wu CY, Powers KW, Bonzongo JCJ. Development of
silica/vanadia/titania catalysts for removal of elemental mercury from coalcombustion flue gas. Environ Sci Technol 2008;42(14):5304–9.
[50] Granite EJ, Pennline HW, Hargis RA. Novel sorbents for mercury removal from
flue gas. Ind Eng Chem Res 2000;39(4):1020–9.
[51] Jin R, Liu Y, Wu Z, Wang H, Gu T. Low-temperature selective catalytic reduction
of NO with NH3 over MnCe oxides supported on TiO2 and Al2O3: a comparative
study. Chemosphere 2010;78(9):1160–6.
[52] Fan X, Li C, Zeng G, Gao Z, Chen L, Zhang W, et al. Removal of gas-phase
element mercury by activated carbon fiber impregnated with CeO2. Energy
Fuel 2010;24:4250–4.
[53] Li H, Wu CY, Li Y, Li L, Zhao Y, Zhang J. Role of flue gas components in mercury
oxidation over TiO2 supported MnOx–CeO2 mixed-oxide at low temperature. J
Hazard Mater 2012;243:117–23.
[54] Li H, Wu CY, Li Y, Li L, Zhao Y, Zhang J. Impact of SO2 on elemental mercury
oxidation over CeO2–TiO2 catalyst. Chem Eng J 2013;219:319–26.
[55] Zhou J, Hou W, Qi P, Gao X, Luo Z, Cen K. CeO2–TiO2 sorbents for the removal of
elemental mercury from syngas. Environ Sci Technol 2013;47(17):10056–62.
[56] Kim MH, Ham SW, Lee JB. Oxidation of gaseous elemental mercury by
hydrochloric acid over CuCl2/TiO2-based catalysts in SCR process. Appl Catal B:
Environ 2010;99(1–2):272–8.